Star tight end Rob Gronkowski stood in front of his Gillette Stadium locker Monday and announced he will be playing in the New England Patriots' opener at Miami on Sunday.

Meanwhile, the news hardly caught the Dolphins by surprise.

"I'm super excited," said Gronkowski, who didn't play in any of the four exhibition games as he completed his recovery from December right knee surgery.

The pronouncement came as a bit of a surprise in a locker room not known for players "breaking news."

"Yeah, yeah, I'm just getting it out of the way there," Gronkowski said. "Every single day this week (he would have been asked about returning) -- get it out of the way now."

The Patriots are 6-0 all-time when Gronkowski plays against the Dolphins, but Miami has kept him in some check of late. Gronkowski's last two games against Miami resulted in a total of only four catches.

Dolphins coach Joe Philbin said his team was "fully prepared" for a Gronkowski sighting. "He's an excellent player ... " Philbin said Monday. "We'll be ready for him, for sure."

Texans: Houston and All-Pro defensive end J.J. Watt have reached an agreement in principle on a long-term contract extension, the Houston Chronicle reported.

The Chronicle said that Watt, who still has two years remaining on his rookie contract, will get a six-year extension worth $100 million, with $51,876,000 guaranteed. It's the largest amount of guaranteed money ever given to a defensive player, surpassing the $50 million given to Mario Williams by the Buffalo Bills.


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Chiefs: Alex Smith didn't have much choice when he was traded from the 49ers to Kansas City last year. He had the final say when it came to staying with the Chiefs, though.

One day after signing a four-year extension that should solidify his future through the 2018 season, Smith expressed relief at being able to focus solely on football.

"As much as you don't want to think about those types of things," Smith said, "you can't help but have them in the back of your head: 'I'm playing for a contract, I'm playing for this and that.' Sometimes you can just be an added distraction. I was hoping and really happy that it got done."

Smith is due $7.5 million this season, the final year of the contract he signed with the 49ers. His extension is worth $68 million, with $45 million guaranteed, a person familiar with the terms told The Association Press on condition of anonymity because details were not disclosed.

Bills: Rookie receiver Sammy Watkins is still experiencing soreness after returning to practice for the first time since aggravating a rib injury last week. The first-round draft pick practiced fully Monday and says he is preparing to play Sunday, when Buffalo opens the season at Chicago.

Broncos: Receiver Wes Welker practiced for the first time since suffering a concussion Aug. 23.

Titans: Veteran kicker Ryan Succop agreed to a one-year deal with Tennessee. The Chiefs released Succop on Saturday.